whoishamlet's Journal

When Hamlet Eats, He Dies
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What is this crazy thing?

A collection of actors, in plainclothes, with no set and no props, performing Hamlet on the streets of the local club district in Tampa, Florida, one act per week for five weeks. The street and the crowds will be our set, much blocking left to improvisational whim on the actors' part.

Three weeks before we begin, flyers appear on the walls reading 'Who Is Hamlet?'. One week before we begin, more flyers, with 'Act I, Friday (date)' printed below.

On our first Friday, at a prescribed time, a cohort will stand up from his outdoor table, or bench, and shout "WHO IS HAMLET?". Five other plants, on both sides of the street, will then recite lines from the 'to be or not to be' speech in rounds and in different languages. Then Act I will begin, on the street, and the crowds will be free to stop and watch or pass by as they please.

Theatre the way it rarely is - a part of life. We are Hamlet. There is no success, there is no failure, only the act itself.

What the fuck? Why?

Because we don't believe in the separation of "art" and "life". Because too much theatre has gone corporate, charging high prices and pushing an image of elitism. Because it's all about being able to afford it. Because too much theatre caters to an expected audience. Because too many people think theatre is for the rich and overeducated. Because people bristle when they hear "theatre". Because too few people realize that this isn't about the struggles of high royalty; this is about every person alive.

Because people don't realize that they watch ritual theatre everytime they go to Mass, attend a graduation, see a funeral, sing in chorus.

Because we have met people who don't think they have the opportunity to see Shakespeare.

Because we believe in Boal, and we want not only the text, but a happening itself of theatre to serve a purpose - to inspire dialogue.

And because we're restless, masochistic idiots.

So what's this journal for?

For us to keep track of our progress, and to keep those interested informed as to how we're doing. No, we're not asking for donations. Just your ideas.